Monday, July 14, 2014

“Gracious acceptance is an art - an art which most never bother to cultivate. We think that we have to learn how to give, but we forget about accepting things, which can be much harder than giving.... Accepting another person's gift is allowing him to express his feelings for you.” ― Alexander McCall Smith

A few of you know that I have been a watch fanatic since I was in high school.  I had accumulated a pretty good collection, but for personal reasons I’d rather not explain, I was down to only one watch about two years ago.  I had been a member of a watch forum on the internet and posted pictures of whatever watch I was wearing that day as well as pictures of the kids we teach and the things we do here as missionaries.  The forum has many readers who arrange themselves into groups around the kind of watches they own, so there is a Rolex group, and a Chinese watch group, and an “affordable” watch group which is the one on which I post most frequently.  The blog was also made available to anyone on the watch forum who wanted to read it.  I have received comments from others on the forum (from all over the world) thanking us for our work here and expressing concern whenever I was sick or in the hospital.  It made me feel much less alone here, however, with only one watch, I figured they would get tired of seeing the same one day after day, so I stopped posting.  When my mother passed away, there was enough money for me to buy four, affordable watches (two Seikos and two Citizens) and I started posting on the forum again.  Two of the members of that forum have sent me watches to help replace the ones that were gone and to show that they cared.  I cannot begin to tell you how it made me feel.  I got two from a man in the U.K. who sent me both a solar and a hand-wind watch.  He also wrote some very nice things about the work we are doing here.  Today, I got another from a man in Canada.  On the card it said, “I admire you and your work for others.  I also know of your love for watches.  Enjoy this watch in good health as gift from me to you.”  To care is one thing, to go to the trouble to find a watch that I liked and to mail to me here in Tanzania is another thing altogether.  I find it amazing that even people on my watch forum are aware of our work here and care enough to send gifts, gifts that are especially appropriate for me.  I am touched and humbled.  Another reason that I truly believe that if you are doing what God has called you to do, God will send you “thank-you” notes.  I got one today.  Thanks, Mike, and Thanks to my Heavenly Father as well.  I am truly blessed.
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